Friday 7 January 2011

WWOZ NEW ORLEANS Is Where I Find My Heaven

"And there goes the last DJ
Who plays what he wants to play
And says what he wants to say
Hey, hey, hey
And there goes your freedom of choice
There goes the last human voice
There goes the last DJ"
-Tom Petty

WWOZ is a Jazz Station that broadcasts from New Orleans. It's amazing that to find a radio station that feels like home, I have to listen to one in a different continent to me. It's even more amazing how fresh and new and original it is, especially considering most of their playlist is pre-1950.

I'm not even a big Jazz fan. I know the names Benny Goodman and Harry James -- but then so do everyone. WWOZ is special. It's about the music. It's the only station I know that is about the music. Sometimes I HATE what they play, but most of the time I am truly blown away! Radio sucks these days. We all listen to the same thing and we're told what is good and every now and again we find something that sounds unique or interesting to us -- but what is it really? It's just another version of John Mayer or David Gray--- but WWOZ is something special.

"There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music of New Orleans or Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly. " 
-Boris Vian

It's crazy when you think about it. We have this heritage of music-- in particular, in regard to WWOZ; it's Jazz. What is Jazz? I don't even know what it means to be Jazz, or what qualifies. But the instruments, the sounds, the recordings, the voices, the LIFE -- God, it's just amazing how much life is in this music. How are we not listening to this stuff every day? How did we get to the point that a few corporations owned all the stations and played the same tracks on repeat to us? I mean, I like Rod Stewart; but how comes they ended up just playing the same three hits of his again and again? Who decided radio should be this way? When did we just give up on wanting to hear something inspiring and ALIVE and powerful?

In New Orleans it's about the music. They live it. They breath it. Someone dies, and they bring a brass band to the funeral. This is why I love the internet -- when we remember to get off Facebook, we find gems like WWOZ. For those who think time travel doesn't exist, you haven't lived! A man can play a saxophone in 1938, and I can be jogging in 2010 and listening to a live recording in my headphones.

Sometimes they play stuff I don't like -- but that's better than commercial radio.. you don't like or dislike what you listen to on the normal stations, you just play it and listen along to the same Lionel Richie song and whatever new song Miley Cyrus has released.

WWOZ matters. I'm just glad it exists. Because it's not meant to be around anymore. We got rid of music a long time ago.

"And you may think you control things
But there'll be more just like me
Who won't give in
Who'll rise again"
-Tom Petty

Care to share?


  1. i love this. this is what i was thinking when i had to suffer through a 30 minute ride to my house on the bus. its like the radio only plays songs that are "popular" but the problem is that all the "popular" songs sound the same!!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation, just hear it :)